There are a lot of articles on the internet detailing the histories of the ideas of polar wandering and
earth crust displacement. These are all, however, wrong and largely ignorant of the basic facts. The only person currently writing a remotely accurate history of this subject is me, here on this website, and in my book Polar Wandering and the Cycle of Ages. As mentioned in earlier posts, all other commentators are completely unaware of how the theory of earth crust displacement was developed by the British intellectual elite. There is, however, one book out there which is very worth reading if anyone is interested in accurate historical research. That is Joscelyn Godwin’s Arktos: The Polar Myth.

Godwin traces the idea of “catastrophic polar wandering" to Comte George Louis Buffon (1707-1788). As Godwin explains, Buffon proposed this idea “not to justify the biblical stories but in order to account for the evidence of a warm climate having once existed in the Arctic, as shown by the fossils of trees and the bones of now tropical creatures”.

Godwin explains how polar wandering and other matters concerning earth history became wrapped up in a intellectual war between catastrophists and uniformitarians. The truth became secondary to the doctrinal war raging within academia:

“Our study is therefore less an investigation of the truth about the past than a survey of intellectual history. Our question is not: Did the earth’s axis shift? but: What have people believed about its shifting and why?"

Occultist like Blavatsky also discuss these sciences. In Isis Unveiled (1877) she wrote:

“The polar and equatorial climates gradually change places; the former moving slowly toward the Line [equator]. and the tropical zone, with its exuberant vegetation and swarming animal life, replacing the forbidding wastes of the icy poles. This change of climate is necessarily attended by cataclysms, earthquakes, and other cosmical throes.”

Blavatsky also poses this incomprehensible idea on the cause of pole shifts:

“as land need rest and renovation, new forces, and a change for its soil, so does water. Thence arises a periodical redistribution of land and water, changes of climate, etc., all brought about by geological revolution, and ending in a final change in the axis.”

In my book, I explain how Blavatsky strongly implies an axis shift, and how the blavatskynetfoundation also shares this view.

But Godwin says the founder of the idea now known as polar wandering was none other than Sir Isaac Newton. He explained in Principia Mathematica how the axis could change position:

“....let there be added anywhere between the pole and the equator a heap of new matter like a moutain, and this by its perpetual endeavour to recede from the centre of its motion will disturb the motion of the globe and cause its poles to wander about its surface, describing circles about themselves and the points opposite to them.”

In the 19th century John Lubbock presented a paper to the Geological Society of London titled “On Change of Climate Resulting from a Change in the Earth’s Axis of Rotation.” He thought a shift might be caused by changes in the distribution of land. It seems that this idea was simply too unsettling, and was eventually marginalised by the elite themselves. As Godwin explains:

“There was so much interest in Lubbock’s theory that George Darwin (son of Charles) set out to control it in an article of 1877,....”

George Darwin wrong thought earth was rigid, not plastic, so was against the theory of earth crust displacement.

In the twentieth century the idea of rapid polar wandering turns up amongst the Nazis and their ideologues. The belief in a northerly, Arctic Aryan homeland was propounded by men like Herman Wirth in Der Aufgang der Menscheit (The rise of mankind, 1928). Wirth studied the work of Alfred Wegener – the creator of the theory of continental drift – and came to believe that the Arctic homeland of the Aryans flourished at a time when that region was much further south. Godwin summarises Wirth’s ideas:

“What had made the Arctic regions uninhabitable since those times was not the cooling of the earth, as Bailley thought – that was now untenable – but the shifting of continents and wandering of the poles. Wirth’s Arctic Race had separated from the apes some millions of years ago, then about half a million years ago had begun its southward wanderings, moving in response to the various ice ages. Pockets of comparatively high culture had remained all round the Arctic Ocean, until the fall of Atlantis in about 9000 BCE;....”

Wirth has been proven right that there was human habitation near the Arctic in Pleistocene times, as shown by the Yana RHS site and the “Mammoth Curve” site, where hunter-gathering people lived during the last so-called "Ice Age", although it remains to be discovered whether also civilised cultures were located there.

None other than Alfred Rosenberg, author of the infamous The Myth of the Twentieth Century (1930s), was supportive of this belief in polar wandering. This and Hitler’s Mein Kampf were the two most influential books in the German Fascist movement. In this book Rosenberg states:

“The geologists show us a continent between North America and Europe, whose remains we can see today in Greenland and Iceland. They tell us that islands on the other side of the Far North (Novaia Zemlya) display former tide marks over 100 metres higher than today’s; they make it probable that the North Pole has wandered, and that a much milder climate once reigned in the present Arctic..”

In my book, I use Novaia Zemlya’s mammoth remains to show that it was further south at the height of the last ice age, based on up-to-date Arctic research. The raised beaches metioned by Rosenberg have also been thoroughly researched on this island, and may have been raised up by the tectonic upheavals of the last crust displacement. Upon these raised beached were the remains of temperate marine creatures such as molluscs, dated to the height of the North American ice age. Mammoth remains on this island date to the same time as maximum ice sheet advance in the North America.

Although the likes of Rosenberg were using these scientific discoveries to further their own ideological goals, and construct the Aryan myth, one should not overlook that the top intellectuals of Germany – one of the most advanced nations on earth – agreed with the theory of rapid polar wandering. The modern belief that Earth Crust Displacement is a fringe idea developed by a respected but eccentric professor (Charles Hapgood), is clearly wrong. The Nazis were not fools, nor were they by any means a fringe movement!

Nevertheless, the tactic of academia has been to portray Hapgood’s work as marginal and “amateur”, as Godwin explains:

“By the time Charles Hapgood published a revision of his book on polar wandering, The Path of the Pole (1970), his Wegenerian belief in a shifting crust had come to be shared by a large body of geologists, though since he was an “amateur”, and had proposed an unacceptable time-scale, he did not receive much recognition.”

The irony is that Hapgood himself didn't properly explain the history of the idea of earth crust displacement. In Path of the Pole, he traces the idea back to the the 1920s - I forget the name of the scientist he quotes - which is absurdly wrong. This is an inexcusable mistake for a professor of the history of science to make. Despite being worthy of great praise, Hapgood is arguably a plaigurist, as his entire theory, including his proposed idea that misplaced ice caps disturb the crust, was developed in the nineteenth century, and he should have referenced these original studies. As it is, one of the most important ideas in the history of science is one of the most misunderstood.